Sterile services technicians follow set procedures to decontaminate reusable surgical instruments and supply hospital workers with sterile equipment and material.
go round wards, clinics and operating theatres collecting used instruments
sometimes trace a particular tray of instruments which the operating theatre staff need urgently
check the instruments to see that they are working properly and use washers and disinfectors to wash and disinfect them
place the instruments, dressings, needles and syringes in packs or on trays, use packing machines to seal and label them
sterilise the packs and trays in steam machines called autoclaves
use computers to check and record the decontamination process
sterilising large items, such as baby incubators, by carefully dismantling and cleaning each piece, then reassembling them
test machinery and report any defects
go on the rounds again, delivering the sterile supplies by trolley.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
whether you are on NHS pay rates
whether you work shifts.
Sterile services technicians are on the Agenda for Change pay scale. The current pay scales are from April 2021. They start on Band 2, £19,609 to £21,615 a year and after experience move up to Band 3, £21,709 to £23,603 a year. Supervisors are on Band 4, £23,709 to £25,982 a year.
You work in the sterile services or decontamination department of a hospital.
In most hospitals there are shifts around the clock and you will work some weekends.
You come into contact with contaminated equipment and dangerous sharps.
You are in a sterile environment and are in contact with powerful chemicals, so you wear a face mask and head covering as well as surgical gloves, gown and shoes.
This is an active job and you have to lift and carry heavy objects.
Work gets hectic if you have to urgently prepare a particular set of equipment.